Since its foundation in 1922, the Lamot brewery has been involved in a continuous process of extension and demolition, a process of straightforward commercial reasoning by which redundant parts were razed without any emotion and newly needed infrastructures were simply added to the existing core. The resulting structure was an undecipherable conglomerate of smaller buildings that constituted an unintentional lesson in straightforward reasoning. During the process, we eagerly learned from this logic, reusing it for the future development of Lamot, a mix of congress facilities and cultural amenities. Converting this awkward giant into a public building brought to the fore new standards of accessibility, orientation, lighting and views. The conversion entailed action – a surgical operation – on an urban scale. We proposed to split open the building’s first floor: a calculated internal explosion, leaving no doubt about the future ambition of Lamot, whose true objective is an intricate mix of cultural and commercial activities, a voluntary clash of substance by which commerce is fed by culture and culture can react to commerce (or vice versa).

  • Location

    Mechelen, Belgium

  • Client

    City of Mechelen

  • Design


  • Completion


  • In collaboration with


  • 51N4E project team

    Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, Nele Stragier, Bob De Wispelaere

  • Consultant

    Heidi De Nijn, Bart De Baere, Wouter Davidts (cultural program), Meertens-Steffens (management), Laurent Ney (structure), Bob Van Reeth

  • Structural engineer

    De Smet - Verlinden - Van Stayen

  • Construction cost

    10.000.000 €

  • Programme

    Cultural convention centre - shops - restaurant

  • Site surface

    1.340 m²

  • Built surface

    6.600 m²

  • Photography

    Stijn Bollaert